Thorpie backs local produce

OLYMPIC swimming champion Ian Thorpe and renowned restaurateur Tetsuya Wakuda were in the Derwent Valley today to visit Tim Reid’s extensive cherry farm at Plenty. Thorpe and Tetsuya will join deputy premier Lara Giddings on a trade mission to Japan to promote Tasmania’s cherry industry.

“Tasmania’s cherries are world class and it is testament to the quality we produce that Japanese buyers are so open to our produce,” Ms Giddings said today. “Japanese markets are noted for demanding the highest quality so having celebrities of the calibre of Ian Thorpe and Tetsuya to help us to promote our produce will help to raise the profile of the local cherry industry – particularly when we are marketing Japanese cherries to the Japanese.”

“Tim Reid from Reid Fruits will be joining us in Tokyo and I congratulate him for the quality of his product and for his innovative marketing. Tim has worked tirelessly to develop a market in Japan for the Japanese cherries he grows at Plenty, including negotiating changes to Japanese legislation and satisfying stringent quarantine regulations, which has had benefits for Tasmania’s wider cherry industry,” Ms Giddings said.

Reid Fruits has about 30,000 Japanese cherry trees growing on its orchard at Plenty, with fruit selling for $50 to $80 per kilogram in Japan.

The ABC has more here and the Mercury’s report is here.

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